“I wish I was better at modeling. I wish my face wasn’t so round. I wish my stretch marks were gone. I wish I weighed less.” These are examples of the thoughts that cross my mind. After a recent weight gain due to life’s change of circumstances, it’s honestly been hard to feel beautiful. I feel ‘less than’ now that I gained more weight, and that thought is the most disturbing. I named this post ‘Eternal Beauty’ to begin a discussion on what beauty means and how our weight or body shouldn’t define us nor make us feel less than our gorgeous selves. <3
What I Wore: Pink Floral Maxi Dress (Ross), Long White Knitted Cardigan (Kohls), Tommy Hilfiger Cross Body, Ugg Boots (not pictured – it didn’t match, but it was freezing haha)
From a very young age, we are influenced from many different sources on what it means to be beautiful. From Barbie dolls to magazines, from what our family tells us, to what we’re made fun of for – we’re already programmed on defining what’s socially ‘beautiful’ and what’s not. God forbid we get a scar, stretch marks, gain weight, have slightly wider hips, or have a flat chest. We’re told by society, “No, no, don’t worry, there’s ways to fix that.” Got wrinkles? Try some wrinkle cream. Small chested? Get implants. Uneven skin tone? Wear makeup. Noodle arms? Take protein. Maybe then you’ll be close to being beautiful.
The beauty industry thrives on our insecurities. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love using different products and makeup as much as the next person. I think it’s fun to experiment and that there’s nothing wrong with trying to hide that annoying pimple or making your best features pop! However, I think it becomes an issue when we rely on these products and fixes to feel beautiful, or pretty, sexy, attractive, etc. When we think that ‘fixing’ something with ourselves is what will make us ‘better’, it’s a very toxic thought because it implies that who we are right now is inadequate. We are born the way we are and that’s enough. Beauty comes from within, external beauty fades. True beauty is based on our character, our thoughts, and actions, not by the size of our thigh gap, breasts, or muscles.
Growing up I used to be stick skinny and had ‘chicken legs’ as my dad would joke. My Asian family would urge me to eat since I was skinny. When puberty hit, stretch marks appeared on my body and though I was slim, a flat stomach was never something I acquired. Perhaps it was my kid junk food diet? I lucked out with my love for sports and the fact that I was generally active. As I entered high school and college, I remained semi-active and was lucky my school had a lot of stairs and hills. Now, that my schedule has changed what with graduating and being a major homebody working on my grad apps, blog, gaming, etc, of course I gained weight. After this photo shoot, I looked at my pictures and cried because I didn’t feel beautiful in any of them because of how different my body looked. It’s very discouraging, and it sucks feeling this way. For some reason, my main concern isn’t that I’d be healthier if I lost weight, but rather that I’d look better and appease myself and others, even my family.
I believe that a lot of these thoughts are pre-programmed, and that they need to be re-programmed. Every person is beautiful, regardless of how they look physically. For my journey, I’m trying to eat healthier and be more active. I want to live a long life with as little health complications as possible. I’m also trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and practice more modeling, just for fun. The hardest aspect is trying to reframe my way of thinking and to kick those negative voices to the curve. The truth is we will all get old, get wrinkles, maybe gain weight, lose weight, or get stretch marks from puberty, lose muscle, but it’s just life. Our body may change, but true beauty is everlasting. I hope that whomever is reading this can at least take that message to heart and remember that you are beautiful, you are not alone, and you are enough. 🙂